The German Conundrum: Is the Language on the Rise or a Thing of the Past?
There may be numerous reasons why you’ve chosen German as your next language to learn. Maybe you are planning on working in Germany and learning the language is a vital part of the preparation process. Or perhaps you’d like to take advantage of all the possibilities knowing just one more language has to offer. However, you probably aren’t thinking about learning it due to popularity alone because most people seem to think it is isolated to just a few European countries and therefore not as important as certain other languages. Is this true? You’ll have to read on to find out as we take an in-depth look into German around the globe and its growing (or shrinking) importance.
View from the top // Image via PhotoPin
A little slice of history…
Leading up to WWII, German was the language to know in many parts of the world. Before launching into war, this country had built itself up as a mega superpower which made the language itself a vital tool for those looking to experience and do business in the booming German economy. In the decades after the Second World War, Germany experienced many ups and downs in an attempt to rebuild its struggling economy. It was during this period that German lost some of its prominence and started getting displaced more and more by English – as the top two global players of the time happened to be English speaking nations (the USA and the UK). Today, this mentality for a large part still exists. Languages which once held a great deal of sway, like French, German, and Russian, were pushed aside to make way for the new world where English, and eventually Chinese, would become the great languages of business, politics, and travel.
A global chess match…
But, does this mean that German will never again rise to the prominence it once felt so many decades ago? The answer is a decided no. Ever since human beings first started using language, it has been prone to many drastic and sudden changes. In the end, it is the global chess match between nations that really determines a language’s popularity and prominence. This is made decidedly evident by Russian’s rise to the top during the Cold War and Arabic’s booming popularity in the aftermath of September 11th, 2001. And now, as China’s economy explodes and the nation experiences an enormous amount of growth, Chinese is quickly becoming the language to know. But what about German?
German is becoming more important for business // Image via PhotoPin
A German powerhouse…
As it turns out, German isn’t too far behind English and Chinese in prominence and importance. Currently, Germany is considered the most powerful nation in the European Union. Not only does it have the top economy of any country there, but it is a leading nation when it comes to manufacturing and importing goods. The success of the EU’s overall economy is hugely dependent on Germany, and this country has long been a model of what others in Europe hope to achieve. For these reasons, countless people are hoping to immigrate to Germany in order to not only take advantage of the job sector and economy, but to also enjoy the high standard of living this nation has to offer. This is evidenced by a jump in German students from around the globe. Hundreds of thousands in South America, Asia, and the Middle East are choosing German as their next language to learn, and 9.4 million German students in Europe are also boosting its popularity. Furthermore, knowing German provides opportunities in two other EU top dogs: Switzerland and Austria. No wonder people are signing up for German classes by the thousands!
All this information should leave absolutely no doubt in your mind: learning German is very important in today’s world and will serve you well whether for business or pleasure. Now that you know how vital German is becoming, you’ll want to be sure to find the perfect language classes for you so that you can stay ahead of the language trend curve. Find out your skill level with a free online placement test and contact us to work with a native-speaking tutor who can create a unique learning package just for you. Then get ready to put your German to good use because, as you now know, this language is no longer a thing of the past, but a powerhouse of the present and future!